Home Home Education Documents Health Promotion Activity Plans Projects Links
PCHC Education
The PA Dual Diagnosis Direct Support Curriculum

The PA Dual Diagnosis Direct Support Curriculum Initiative

Direct Supporters Image

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and the Office of Developmental Programs (ODP) have undertaken a joint initiative to address the needs of people who have an intellectual disability as well as mental health challenges. People who have both of these challenges are commonly referred to as those who have dual diagnosis. Included in the initiative is the development of a curriculum for Direct Supporters. The curriculum is designed for Direct Supporters who work in either the intellectual disability field or the mental health field.

Goal For Direct Supporters

The ultimate goal of this training curriculum is to provide information that can aid in the understanding of the struggles and the triumphs of those you support or will support. This curriculum was designed to demonstrate the complexity of dual diagnoses and the factors that need to be considered to best support those with whom you come into contact. The PA Dual Diagnosis Direct Support Curriculum was also designed to demonstrate that all people in this world, regardless of their challenges, are much more alike than they are different.

The Training Curriculum

The PA Dual Diagnosis Direct Support Curriculum is currently in piloting phase. The Health Care Quality Units and Dual Diagnoses Direct Support Committee are currently requesting comments and feedback pertaining to this curriculum. Because the curriculum is currently in its piloting stage, the curriculum is not intended for "in-house" training purposes at this time. We ask that any interested providers complete a Training Request Form to have the training piloted in their agency, county or region by their local Health Care Quality Unit.


This curriculum is not designed to replace physical or behavioral health advice. If you believe that you, or someone you support, have physical or behavioral health issues, please seek professional advice.

This training curriculum is currently in its piloting stage throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If you have any questions or comments, please contact the chair of the curriculum committee, Dina McFalls or Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care staff, Linda Ulinski and Aaron McHugh (emails below), who have worked on the modules. Comments will be welcome until mid-November when modules will be finalized.

Behavioral Health Trainings
  • Aaron McHugh, MS,QDDP: Dual Diagnosis Specialist, Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care
  • E-mail: amchugh@pmhcc.org

Medical Trainings
  • Linda Ulinski, RN,CDDN: Clinical Education Manager, Philadelphia Coordinated Health Care
  • E-mail: lulinski@pmhcc.org

** Please do not attempt to change, alter, delete or modify any material on the training website. **

This training curriculum was developed for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Offices of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) and Developmental Programs (ODP) by the PA Dual Diagnosis Direct Support Curriculum Committee.


Committee Chair:  Dina McFalls, MS NADD-CC: Director, PCHC

  • Timothy Barksdale, Psy.D NADD-CC: Clinical Team Leader, Horizon House
  • Beth Barol, Ph.D: MSW Program Director and Associate Professor, Widener University
  • Jackie Beilharz: Team Leader, Disability Rights Network
  • Ramona Bosse RN CDDN: Clinical Manager, Southwestern PA HCQU
  • Nancy Cader: Manager, Invision Human Services
  • Claire Choutka, M.ed BCBA: PA Clinical Director of the Bureau for Autism Services
  • Maureen Cronin: Executive Director, ARC of Pennsylvania
  • Linda Drummond: Policy Analyst, Pennsylvania Community Providers Association
  • Jacqueline Epstein: Director of Training, Health and Welfare, ODP
  • Michael Fueyo, MD: Psychiatrist, Philhaven Center
  • Patricia Graves, RN CDDN: Nursing Director, PCHC
  • Karen Harvey, Ph.D NADD-CC: Associate Executive Director of Quality Supports, Arc of Baltimore
  • Gretchen Hathaway: Statewide Coordinator, OMHSAS
  • Mel Knowlton: Policy Consultant, Pennsylvania Association of Resources (PAR)
  • Lynn Libby, RN BS NE-BC: Director, Central Pennsylvania HCQU
  • Roseanna R Liberty, MA: Provider Relations Manager, Community Care Behavioral Health
  • Marilyn Linko, RN BSN: RN Consultant, DPW Office of Medical Director, OMHSAS
  • Fred Lokuta: Deputy Secretary of Pennsylvania, Former Dual Diagnosis Project Lead
  • Lucille S. Maloney: Chief Administrative Assistant for the PA Dual Diagnosis Direct Support Curriculum Committee, Facilitator of Curriculum Committee Communication Management
  • Lisa Meyer: Director, ODP Consulting and DPW’s Medication Administration Training Program
  • Thomas Meyer, MD: Director of Psychiatry, Clarks Summit State Hospital
  • Kevin McElligott, BS M.Ed: Executive Director, Southwestern PA HCQU
  • John McGonigle, Ph.D: Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh
  • Aaron McHugh, MS QDDP: Dual Diagnosis Specialist, PCHC
  • Terrence McNelis, MPA NADD-CC: Senior Vice President, NHS Human Services
  • Amy Nemirow, Ph.D.: Clinical Director, PA Office of Developmental Programs
  • Staci Nonnemacher, Ph.D: Clinical Director, PA Bureau of Autism Services
  • Janice Nuss, LCSW NADD-CC: Behavioral Health Services Director, ICF
  • Carol Persons, MD NADD-CC: Psychiatrist, PCHC
  • Doug Pickens: Director of Adult Specialized Services, ARC Human Services
  • Susan Proulx, Psy.D: Deputy Director of IDS, Delaware County MH/ID
  • Peg Schwartz: Behavioral Services Coordinator, Community Services Group
  • Frank Schweigert: Project Manager, ODP Consulting
  • Meghan Shingleton: Intern, Arc of Pennsylvania
  • Ruth Siegfried: President/CEO, InVision Human Services
  • Elliott Simon, Ph.D: Executive Director of Research and Health Services, Elwyn Inc.
  • Marlinda M. Smith, LCSW BCD: Certified Forensic Specialist & Dual Diagnosis Project Lead, ODP
  • Sherry Snyder: Senior Consultant, Health Management Associates
  • Rachel Sweeney: Manager of Executive Administration, InVision Human Services
  • Dan Thrash, MA: Director of Clinical Services, Ken-Crest Services
  • Jack Toomey, RN-BC CDDN NADD-CC: Integrated Health Systems Navigator, PCHC
  • Pamela Treadway, M.ed: Senior Clinical Consultant, Bureau for Autism Services
  • Linda Ulinski, RN CDDN: Clinical Education Manager, PCHC
  • Denise Vanacore, Ph.D. CRNP ANP-BC PMHNP: Coordinator Nurse Practicioner Program, Frances Maguire School of Nursing
  • Robin VanEerden, MS NCC LPC NADD-CC: Dual Diagnosis Coordinator, ODP
  • Nina Wall-Coté, LSW: Director, PA Bureau of Autism Services
  • Maureen Westcott: Executive Director, ARC of Lancaster, PA
  • Ralf Wildner, MD: Psychiatrist, PA Department of Public Welfare
  • Lisa Zook: Management Associate, PA Association of County Administrators of Mental Health and Developmental Services
  • Pamela Zotynia: Executive Director, ARC of Luzerne County